GOLD BEACH – Matt and Kim Hall, owners of the Port Orford News, have purchased the Curry County Reporter from Joel Summer and Rebecca Macko, who have owned the Gold Beach weekly paper for the past seven years.
Matt Hall said Summer and Macko are staying for a while to help before they start traveling sometime in October.
“My partner, Kim Hall, a Rutgers and Eastern Oregon grad, is a former science teacher. She is putting the Port Orford News out,” Hall said. “I will continue living in Port Orford and commute.”
Hall, 55, said he started writing for local newspapers in grade school and has continued off and on since. His first full-time job in news was for the World in Coos Bay, where he worked for two years.
He has worked for newspapers and spent time in Alaska. This is the second time he has owned the Port Orford weekly paper. The current ownership came about after the former owner closed it and substituted the Coquille paper to the 600 paid subscribers, who were not happy with the substitution.
“I went to Coquille and they gave me a great deal. They had 600 subscribers that didn’t want what they were getting. I got myself an old MAC and went to Port Orford, borrowing $500 to make my first press bill,” Hall said.
“The whole community told me they wanted their paper back,” he said.
Hall said he had recently decided he needed a little more.
“I approached Joel and Rebecca and asked them if they were interested in selling,” he said. “After four months, we got a deal done.”
Summer said he and his wife, who purchased the Reporter seven years ago from Jim and Molly Walker, did not have the paper up for sale when they were approached.
But they do want to travel.
“We just purchased a motor home, just got it this week,” he said. “As soon as we get all things done here, we’re going to hit the road.”
Summer said he and his wife have five children between them, in New York, Washington D.C., Tucson, Los Angeles and Portland.
“We have a granddaughter in Tucson. We expect we will end up closer to our granddaughter,” he said.
“When you run a mom and pop newspaper, it’s the nature of the beast. You end up working 70 or 80 hours a week for seven years, with never a day off,” Summer said. “We’ll probably do something else, but I don’t know what or where or when.”
Hall said everybody is invited to contribute to the Reporter.
“Every now and then I’ll write a letter from the editor, but I don’t write editorials. I want to be able to show the community at its best,” he said.
“It took a while for Rebecca and I to get our bearings,” Summer said, “but I think we succeeded in understanding the pulse of our community and finding the right balance. It truly meant more to us to be named the Gold Beach Chamber’s Business of the Year and winning all our nation and state journalism awards.”
Summer said they wished the Halls success and would be staying a while to help them in their transition.